Life is Great with a 6.0-liter V8
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  • Pre-National G8 Meet: Day 4

    Posted on September 7th, 2011 tcorzett 1 comment

    Today was a very unexciting day of driving on I-80, but that’s not necessarily a terrible thing. The National G8 Meet is only a few days away, and at this point it is my priority. I’m sure I could have found a twisty road someplace in Nebraska, but right now I just want to get to GONE!

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    My day started with a quest… a quest for air! When driving twisty roads I like to have my tire pressures set for when they head-up. As a result, I’ve been driving with ~40 psi (once warm) in my tires (checked via a nice gauge I received for Christmas last year – Thanks Dad!). This means that when I start the day (cold tires) my Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is reading ~35 psi. With an all freeway day scheduled, I wanted to bump the pressures up to ~40 psi (when cold). Yes, I know I’m being crazy… but a couple of psi makes a difference.

    So, I head to the Shell station where I filled-up yesterday… no air. I check another station… no air, then another… no air. I find a car wash with vacuums, but no air. Maybe Walmart has an auto center? Nope! I was finally able to find air at the next exit (~20 miles away) and spent the rest of the day admiring my TPMS reading all four wheels at 42 psi.

    Once on the road I spent most of the day with the cruise control locked-in at 75 mph. Traffic was a little heavier than it had been in the past few days, which resulted in having to work a bit harder to get a clean piece of the road. This brings me to my first gripe of the trip… what is the deal with people who are going a fraction of a mph faster than you, but don’t speed-up to make a quick/clean pass?

    Seriously, it was really bugging me today! I was going 75.0 mph (verified by GPS) and there was someone doing 75.5 mph right behind me. It’s no big deal to look in your rear view mirror to see a car (very) slowly catching you. It’s no big deal to have a car pull-out to make a pass. But when the car just inches along side of you, and essentially starts to cruise… that is just unacceptable. To make the situation even worse, one car wasn’t using cruise control, so actually started to SLOW DOWN next to me… falling back into my blindspot!

    At this point, I just couldn’t take it anymore. There was at least a half-mile of empty road behind me, perfect for me to relax in, so I stomped on my brakes and let the car rocket past me (thank you Baer!). I’m sure I must have startled the other driver, but he deserved it! When you pull-out to make a pass… make the pass!

    Oh yeah, since I’m making gripes, what is the deal with the “Rest Reminder” in my car?

    I get it, I should drive for many hours on-end without taking a rest… but does the reminder have to make the same tone as a Check Engine Light!?! Not only that, but if I cancel the reminder… it pops-up a little while later. I will likely turn it off, but I almost want to make a game out of it… how many times can I cancel the Reset Reminder before I have to stop? Yesterday I canceled it three times before I stopped. Can I reach four?

    Ok, back to positive stuff. I’ve decided that every day I’ll try to take a photo or two that represents the area that I’m driving through. I’ve been able to find some cool locations for snapshots so far, but today nothing really jumped out at me… until it hit me. With all the corn fields, I needed to fine one I could drive into!

    For ~100 miles I drove keeping my eyes out for a suitable location. While there were several fields that were next to the interstate, none of them had frontage/service roads. Eventually I found what I was looking for… First I had to drive down a dirt road (with a 50 mph speed limit) at 10 mph, then I had to back into a tractor path (scraping my sub chassis braces on something)… but it was worth it.

    Overall today was a “cover ground” day, but it was enjoyable. I had fun singing along to 80’s tunes on XM Radio while chomping on Atomic Fireballs (they must have changed the recipe on these things, as they are way hotter than I remember them being when I was a kid).

    Tomorrow is the final day of “Pre-National G8 Meet” driving, as I’m only 300 miles away from Bettendorf, IA and GONE!